Selectmen consider energy task force

A Ridgefield Energy Task Force to “promote resource conservation, energy efficiency and explore means to reduce the carbon footprint of the community” is under consideration by the selectmen.

The concept was put forward by the Ridgefield Action Committee for the Environment (RACE).

“There would be an emphasis on strategies that save both energy and money,” a mission statement presented to the selectmen said.

The idea was discussed briefly by the selectmen Feb. 8, then put on the agenda for Feb. 21.

It was initially envisioned as an Energy Commission, but advocates of the idea eventually concluded it would be preferable to have a task force, which would allow more flexibility.

The task force would advise the Board of Selectmen and other town staff.

“We want the town to own the task force,” RACE member Ben Oko told the selectmen.

The selectmen recalled a previous energy committee, active several years ago — championed by John Palermo, a school board member at the time.

They also recalled the town’s $1.5-million bond issue that financed a variety of energy-conservation measures. Various energy projects reduced electricity with low-energy light bulbs, put dual-use oil-or-gas burners in various building’s furnaces, and improved insulation in older sites like town hall and the Venus building.

But the selectmen were open to having a task force find more ways to save energy — and money.

“Go ahead. Put it together and come back for approval,” First Selectman Rudy Marconi said.

“I’m looking for you to consider it, and own it,” Oko said.